The White House has announced that President Obama will delay his trip to the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen until the conference's final hours, signaling that he is ready to push an agreement over the finish line. Obama had previously committed to attending earlier in the conference after he picked up his Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Said Obama spokesperson Robert Gibbs:
"The president believes that continued US leadership can be most productive through his participation at the end of the Copenhagen conference on December 18th," the statement said. "There are still outstanding issues that must be negotiated for an agreement to be reached, but this decision reflects the president's commitment to doing all he can to pursue a positive outcome."
Obama will now join with 100 other word leaders who had already committed to being there, including Gordon Brown, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and the Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd.
The EPA is expected to issue its rules for resulting carbon emissions next week, giving the president ammunition in Copenhagen and in the US Senate where climate talks are in danger. If Obama agrees to a binding treaty, he'll bring it home for the Senate to ratify, like President Clinton did with the Kyoto Protocol only to see it not get ratified.
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